Belfast construction company fined over health and safety breaches

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A construction company has been fined following an inspection by HSE, after poor welfare standards, dangerous electrical systems, and inadequate health and safety provisions were found on site

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how concerns had been raised regarding the health and safety standards at the construction site of former tobacco warehouse in Stanley Dock, Liverpool which was under renovation by Abercorn Construction Limited.

A site inspection found the welfare cabin used by employees to be in poor condition, containing exposed live wires and damaged electrical sockets, a mouldy dishwasher and an accumulation of rubbish both inside and outside the cabin with the potential to attract vermin.

After a general site inspection, numerous high risks were found, such as a damaged cable on a 400v transformer, insufficient fire alarms, a lack of fire extinguishers and signage indicating emergency routes, and multiple examples of unprotected edges and openings which exposed workers to risk of a fall from height.

The inspection also found inadequate pedestrian and vehicle segregation, poor order, poor lighting, and the risk of exposure to live electrical conductors.

The HSE investigation found that the company had failed to plan, manage and monitor the works effectively. These risks had previously been noted to the company in written enforcement, and despite their compliance, these poor standards developed again.

Abercorn Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 and Regulation 6 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £77,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,025.52.

‘Onsite health and safety crucial to the delivery of a construction project’

HSE inspector John Padfield commented:” This type of proactive prosecution will highlight to the industry that HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies for repeated breaches of the law.

“Good management of health and safety on site is crucial to the successful delivery of a construction project and principal contractors have an important role in managing the risks of construction work and providing strong leadership to ensure standards are understood and followed.”

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